Shireen Abu Aqleh: Remembering the journalists killed by Israeli forces since 2000

Shireen Abu Aqleh: Remembering the journalists killed by Israeli forces since 2000
Palestinian reporters are regularly subjected to arrest, violence and prosecution by Israeli forces, as part of a programme of 'systematic violence' by Israel, according to rights groups.
3 min read
12 May, 2022
Israeli forces have killed dozens of journalists since 2000, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Information [Getty]

Veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was gunned down by Israeli forces on morning in the West bank, sending shockwaves across the world.

Abu Akleh's death, however, is not the first time Israeli forces have killed journalists covering events in the occupied Palestinian territories and Gaza. According to Palestinian Ministry of Information figures, Israel has killed at least 45 reporters since 2000, the year of the Second Intifada. The Palestinian Journalists' Union places the figure higher at 55.

Those recently killed are Shireen Abu Aqleh (2022), Youssef Abu Hussein (2021), and Ahmed Abu Hussein (2018).

The year 2014, which saw a brutal Israeli military assault on Gaza which left some 2,220 Palestinians dead, was also one in which the largest number of journalists were killed by Israel. Among those killed were Abdullah Fadel Murtaja, Ali Shehta Abu Afash, Hamada Khaled Muqat, Simone Camelli, Shadi Hamdi Ayad and Abdullah Nasr Khalil Fajjan, Muhammad Majed Daher, Muhammad Nour al-Din Mustafa al-Diri, Rami Fathi Hussein Rayan, Sameh Muhammad al-Arian, Ahed Afif Zaqout, Izzat Salama Dahir, Bahaa al-Din al-Gharib, Abd al-Rahman Ziyad Abu Hein, Khaled Riad Muhammad Hamad, Naglaa Mahmoud al-Hajj and Hamed Abdullah Shehab.

In the years leading up to 2014, journalists Muhammad Musa Abu Eisha (2012), Mahmoud Ali Ahmad al-Koumi (2012), Hussam Muhammad Salama (2012), Turkish reporter Cevdet Kiliclar (2010), Alaa Hammad Mahmoud Murtaja (2009), and Ihab Jamal were martyred. Hassan Al-Wahidi (2009), Basil Ibrahim Faraj (2009), Omar Abdel-Hafiz Al-Silawi (2009), Fadel Sobhi Shana’a (2008), Hassan Ziyad Shaqoura (2008), Muhammad Adel Abu Halima (2004) and Khalil Muhammad Khalil Al-Zaben (2004) , James Henry Dominic Miller (British, 2003), Nazih Adel Darwaza (2003), Fadi Nashaat Alawneh (2003), Issam Mithqal Hamza Al-Talawi (2002), Imad Sobhi Abu Zahra (2002), Amjad Bahjat Al-Alami (2002), Jamil Abd Allah Nawara (2002), Ahmed Noaman (2002), Raffaele Chirilo (2002), Muhammad Abdul-Karim Al-Bishawi (2001), Othman Abdul-Qader Al-Qatani (2001), and Aziz Youssef Al-Tanh (2000).

Israel is also currently holding 11 journalists in detention, "who live in difficult conditions, and are deprived of their most basic human rights sanctioned by international conventions," according to the Palestinian Ministry of Information.

In a recent report, press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said that Palestinian journalists are "systematically subjected to violence as a result of their coverage of events in the West Bank. Israeli reporters are barred from visiting the Gaza Strip."

Palestinian reporters are regularly subjected to arrest, violence and prosecution, with their equipment often destroyed and their accreditation cards withheld . 

Last year, RSF and Amnesty International asked the International Criminal Court to investigate Israel’s bombing of the Jalaa Tower in Gaza. Israel's flattening of the building, which housed international media outlets including the Associated Press and Al Jazeera, may have amounted to a war crime, the rights groups argued.

Shireen Abu Akleh